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Volleyball Opens GU Invitational With 3-0 Loss to Connecticut

Sept. 1, 2006

Box Score

Spokane, Wash. - The Gonzaga University women's volleyball team dropped a 3-0 (30-17, 30-25, 30-27) decision to Big East Conference member Connecticut Friday evening in the second match of the Gonzaga Volleyball Invitational. It was the first meeting between the two schools and only the sixth match against a Big East member. The Bulldogs fell to 1-4 on the season, while the Huskies improved to 2-0.

In game one of the match, Connecticut was paced to the 30-17 victory by Kate Seabaugh and Megan Silver, who had seven and five kills, respectively. Bridget Denson-Doman passed out 17 assists as the Huskies tallied 20 team kills and finished with an impressive .400 attack percentage. Connecticut held GU to a .050 attacking percentage and allowed the Bulldogs only 10 kills.

Gonzaga came alive in game two. With Connecticut leading 4-1, the Bulldogs charged back, tying the game at 5-5 after a kill by junior setter Heather Dunn. Gonzaga pushed ahead and took the 13-8 advantage after a kill by junior middle blocker Briawna Mueller, her third of the game. Five-straight points by the Huskies after a Connecticut time-out quickly tied the game at 13-13.

The game continued to see-saw back and forth until the Huskies broke away to take a 27-22 lead. Seabaugh helped propel UConn to the five-point lead with three kills. Gonzaga cut Connecticut's advantage to 28-25, but two-straight points by the Huskies, including a service ace by Julie Pickard, gave Connecticut the victory.

In game three, Gonzaga jumped out to the 5-2 advantage after a monster kill by sophomore Elaina Renius and a service ace by Dunn. After a Husky time-out, Connecticut fought back and tied the game at 12-12. Connecticut was able to take a slight 18-16 advantage, but back-to-back kills by GU's Mueller and Emily Johnson tied the game at 18-18. The game stayed close, as neither team lead by more than one point down the stretch. With the score 26-26, the Huskies scored three-straight points to take a 29-26 lead. A kill by GU's Jones sliced the lead to 29-27, but a kill by Gina Heiderman gave the Huskies the victory.

Gonzaga was led by Jones and Mueller who each tallied nine kills in the loss. Jones also added nine digs and one block, while Mueller chipped in two digs and two blocks. The Bulldogs finished the match with 40 team kills, a .176 attack percentage and five total team blocks.

Connecticut had two players finish in double-digit kills. Seabaugh closed-out the match with a match-high 16 kills, while Silver added 10. Jessica Issac tallied a match-high 16 digs for the Huskies. Connecticut finished the game with 52 team kills, a .313 attack percentage and seven total team blocks.

Gonzaga will play both Gardner-Webb (11 a.m.) and Portland State (7 p.m.) tomorrow to close out the tournament.

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In the first match of the tournament, Portland State University earned a 3-0 (30-20, 30-24, 30-22) victory over Gardner-Webb University. The Vikings improved to 2-1 on the season, while the GWU Bulldogs fell to 0-4 on the year.

Leading the way for Portland State was Jessica Brodie who finished with a team-high 13 kills, three service aces, six digs and two block assists. Nique Fradella dished out a match-high 31 assists as PSU finished with 42 total kills and a .290 attacking percentage. The Vikings also finished with 11 aces and twelve team blocks. Fradella served up five aces, while Michelle Robertson lead the way with six block assists.

Gardner-Webb was led by Ashley Pridgeon and Audra Harrison. Pridgeon finished with a match-high 14 kills, while Harrison added eight. The Bulldogs had two players finish in double-digit digs; both Harrison and Kati Matykowski collected 12 digs a piece. GWU closed out the game with 34 kills and a .056 attack percentage.